November 3rd 2019

Pinch Punch, I know i’m late, what of it? I’ve been having a doze. Just spent a couple of days in Norfolk at my mother in law’s house. Nothing suspicious or odd about that I hear you say but the bed and sofa are not suitable for my bottom, trunk and the rest of my frame, consequently resting in my own bed was like diving into a warm and clear pool overlooking the pacific ocean, thats what I think and way.

We went to a wonderful pub, The Gunton Arms, somewhere in the wilds of Norfolk, south east of Cromer I think, if you are ever in that neck of the woods, you must go there. The chef is a mate of one of my mates and he cooks Steak over a massive fire in the Elk room. Theres some huge antlers on the wall, properly huge and all over the pub are hung expensive looking oils by unknown artists to me, theres a load of Tracy Emin neon signs, some Lucien Freud, some nudey photos in the loos and some Gilbert and George, one outside the loo which I particularly liked. Its next to a deer park which is where the venison is sourced from, so what I spent in diesel to get there is countered by the lack of air miles my deer had to make to get to my plate. I am therefore saving the planet, doing my little bit. My Venison casserole with dumplings was beautiful only marred by my niece’s wingeing over something or other, that’s what they seem to do at that age; just fucking winge and make things slightly worse than they would be had they not been there. Christ, kids, specifically teenagers can be so fucking ungrateful, some of the time, other times they are of course delightful, thats my story and thats what I’m sticking to, it also works as a kind of disclaimer sou you can’t tell me off either way.

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Cromer is windswept and has whispers of what used to be, of faded seaside grandeur, the Hotel de Paris, battered and tatty, theres probably a finer Premier inn next to a Morrissons  on an out of town retail park which is cheaper, but if your after more of a “Shining” type experience then knock your self out and book in. I walked down the beach and stole into the Arcade where my son and I threw balls at clowns to knock them down to win tickets. We bowled balls to get them into tubes to score points to win tickets. We won loads of tickets which we then put into a counter, shredder and the receipt given to us in return allows us to buy sweets, a simple system designed to keep the dentists in gainful employment and the parents perpetually out of pocket. Those places are depressing although the ticketification of them, seems to have lessened the number of fruit machines, and thus the sad man chucking pound after pound into the flashing money box has been replaced with people changing the pounds into 2ps which they can throw into those drawer games endlessly. Somewhere to shelter from the incessant Cromer winds, it’s the sort of place old people come to die.

Cromer has a pier, all piers are always being worked on, thats a fact, theres always an area with builders fencing wrapped with the contractors name and contact details, this means we never see the pier in all its glory. Last time I was in Cromer it was so, this time is  and the next time will be I am sure of this. We had some Cromer rock, the traditional pink rock, to me is the only rock. The rainbow rock you can shove up your arse and probably do, my son chose rainbow and I had a few words before we checked out the lifeboat station at the end of the pier. We only had minutes to look around and learnt that if you want to be a lifeguard you have to be able to run 200m on sand in under 40 seconds, my 11 year old son did it from pier to groyne an estimated 200m in 37 seconds, so if the architecture doesn’t work out, theres hope for him in Cromer.

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We’re going to Norfolk, Fakenham, Toftrees to be exact for Crimbo, we’re stying in 2 barn conversions with extended family, theres a pool and hopefully Sky for the football, theres a pub about 1 1/2 miles away, enough to scare off the fair weather walkers but entice the boxing day drinkers. Theres a what’s app group where everyone is trying to suggest systems to buy presents, secret santa, evil santa, santa on his own. I’m keeping out of the present politics, its not worth it, the main thing for me is getting fed, making sure theres enough food for a hearty Christmas lunch, i must be on the edge of a food coma for 8pm, preferably able to lie on a lilo in the pool cradling a large glass of port. That’s the idea, I suspect the reality to be slightly skewed, but I am not watching Downton Abbey, Eastenders or Casualty, i’ll be hanging with the kids like a slightly Edgy Drunken Fun uncle, or “Funcle” as I’d like to be known.

Apparently we can have dogs, so will always be an escape route should things get a bit over the top and over organised. I’m not bringing Benny, he can terrorise my folks instead for a few days, Dad said he’d look after him and I’m not sure how wise that idea is.

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And that is what I did in my autumn half term holidays.

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